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      Good time to buy a home

      Quincy, IL -- Nationally, home sales sank to a new record low in January, but don't let economic woes turn you would be buyers away...

      According to realtor Sherry Hills, now is the time to buy in this staggering housing market.

      Under the new stimulus plan, qualifying taxpayers who *close* the deal on a home before December 1st of this year will be able to receive up to $12,000 in free money.

      First time home buyers or those who haven't owned a home in three years, can receive up to $4,000 towards their down payment, plus they can claim up to $8,000 dollars in tax credit on their 2008 *or* 2009 returns, depending on when they file.

      Income just has to be under 75-thousand for singles and 150-thousand for couples.

      Hills says, unlike last year, this year you won't have to pay the money back.

      "And say you know someone would only owe $1,000 in taxes next year, the balance would be refunded back to you on your taxes, and if you don't owe anything on taxes next year, the whole $8,000 would be a tax refund where you could do improvements, you could take that $8,000 on the purchase price of the house or the balance on the loan, there's just a lot you can do...go on vacation." said Hills.

      The initial credit for qualified buyers is equal to 10% of the purchase price of the new home, but cannot exceed $8,000.

      Hills says another good reason to buy now is because home loan interest rates are at an all time low.

      She says Quincy's housing market is sound and their business has already seen an increase in home sales this year compared to last.

      Hill told us if you're thinking about buying a home go get pre-qualified at a local bank, and then talk to a professional.

      She told us to think about your needs and wants when buying home.

      Tell a professional what you HAVE to HAVE, like the number of bathrooms or bedrooms, versus what you WANT to have.

      For more information about the tax credit, go to our